Brownjohn was born to British parents in New Jersey and had a successful career in both America and Great Britain during the 1950s and 60s. He immediately showed promise as a young design student at the Institute of Design in Chicago, previously The New Bauhaus, where he studied closely with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. His career ramped up to an early start when he formed the design firm BCG with Ivan Chermayeff and Thomas Geismar. However, that career came to an early end in 1959 with Brownjohn heading to London, the firm became Chermayeff & Geismar.
Brownjohn is perhaps most famous for his work on the title sequences for the films Goldfinger (above) and From Russia with Love (below).
His career in London proved as successful as his early career in the US with his most notable contributions coming in the film industry. He also worked within several other industries, creating moving graphics for Pirelli and Midland bank and created the cover for the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed.
A 240 page catalogue by Emily King that was produced for an exhibition detailing Brownjohn's career entitled "Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography" held at the Design Museum in London was also published as a book of the same name. Sex and Typography details the adventures of Brownjohn through detailed information provided by friends and family as well as chronicling his career and the work that he produced.
At one point Brownjohn was addicted to heroin, which he had first taken in college. It caused the breakdown of his relationship with Chermayeff and Geismar and influenced his move to London.
Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography
by Emily King